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I originally had 4 primary partitions on my laptop they were windows vista(primary),ubuntu 8.10(primary),swap partition,dell recovery(primary)
I shrinked my F drive to install ubuntu 9.04 and I was successful but now my disk manager shows 5 primary partitions i.e. ubuntu 9.04 also as a primary partition ..I cannot understand how I can have 5 primary partitions when I installed ubuntu 9.04 as a logical partition .
but why does the windows vista disk manager shows the other way?
It either is a crappy program or you are misinterpreting what it says. It's impossible to have more than 4 primary partitions, one of which might be an extended partition.
Inside an extended partition you can have as many logical drives as you need.
In linux, this means that the four first numbers are always reserved for primary/extended partitions, and the first logical drive is always 5, even if you only have a single primary partition. For example, if your disk is /dev/hda and you have only an extended partition into it, then it will be /dev/hda1, and if you make drives inside that extended partition, then they will be named from /dev/hda5, /dev/hda6.... /dev/hdaN. That's true even if there's no /dev/hda2, /dev/hda3 or /dev/hda4.